Wednesday, March 24, 2010

2012 (2009)

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Cast (as taken from Wikipedia)
•John Cusack as Jackson Curtis, a struggling science fiction novelist who occasionally works as a limousine driver.[15]
•Chiwetel Ejiofor as Dr. Adrian Helmsley, geologist and scientific advisor to the President.[16]
•Amanda Peet as Kate Curtis, a medical student and Jackson's ex-wife.[17]
•Liam James as Noah Curtis, Jackson and Kate's son.
•Morgan Lily as Lilly Curtis, Jackson and Kate's daughter.
•Thomas McCarthy as Dr. Gordon Silberman, Kate's current boyfriend and a plastic surgeon.[18]
•Danny Glover as Thomas Wilson, the President of the United States.[8]
•Thandie Newton as Dr. Laura Wilson, the First Daughter.[8]
•Oliver Platt as Carl Anheuser, the President's Chief of Staff.[8]
•Zlatko Burić as Yuri Karpov, a Russian billionaire.
•Alexandre Haussmann as Alec Karpov, one of Yuri's sons.
•Philippe Haussmann as Oleg Karpov, Alec's twin brother.
•Beatrice Rosen as Tamara, Yuri's Russian girlfriend.
•Chin Han as Tenzin, a worker in Tibet.
•Osric Chau as Nima, a Buddhist monk and Tenzin's brother.
•Lisa Lu as Grandma Sonam, Nima and Tenzin's grandmother.
•John Billingsley, as Professor Frederic West, an American scientist.
•Johann Urb as Sasha, a Russian pilot and Tamara's boyfriend.
•George Segal as Tony Delgatto, an elderly traveling musician.
•Blu Mankuma as Harry Helmsley, Adrian's father and Tony's musical partner.
•Jimi Mistry as Doctor Satnam Tsurutani, a scientist who helps discover the events that are to come in India.
•Stephen McHattie as Captain Michaels, the captain of the ark.
•Woody Harrelson as Charlie Frost

The Mayans have predicted and have revealed that the beautiful Earth that we are living on, too, is subjected to expiry and this is marked in the end of the calendar year in 2012.
We have heard of the Doomsday theory, and also the End of the World or Judgment Day as preached in Christianity but there were no scientific theory to support that the Earth will eventually evaporate or just disappear from existence.

The story starts in the year 2009, where the an American geologist; Adrian Hemsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) made a shocking discovery which he immediately alerts the White House.
The President, Thomas Wilson (Danny Glover) and Carl Anheurser (Oliver Platt), House Chief of Staff made arrangements to alert the other leaders of the world and together they embarked on a secret plan to arrange for deployment through the huge arks which will be built to ensure continuity of the human race.
The scientists and geologists continue their work of research in a race against time to continuously inform the leaders on the changes in the Earth, and the impact on the upcoming disasters.

In Los Angeles, Jackson Curtis (John Cussack) is a science-fiction writer who had been separated from his wife Kate(Amanda Peet), who lived with their children, Noah(Liam James) and Lily (Morgan Lily). He drove a classy limousine to their house to pick his children up for a weekend camp which they looked forward to. It was later revealed that he also worked for a rich Russian billionaire with a bossy and arrogant attitude, Yuri Karpov (Zlatko Buric) as a part-time driver to drive his two spoilt twin boys, Alec and Oleg.
Noah and Lily looked forward to the trip and Jackson drove them to the famous Yellowstone National Park. While they were there, they were surprised to see camping grounds being taped and blocked from further access due to the active and gurgling seismic activities on those grounds. Jackson ignored the prohibition and trespassed on the grounds; an act which could have gotten him and his children prosecuted had he not revealed his identity as the sci-fi writer whom one of the soldiers happen to be fond of.

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During their camping experience there, Jackson bumped into Charlie Frost (Woody Harrelson) who was a bizarre and eccentric radio show host who kept telling him about the Mayans’ theory that the world is coming to an end in the year 2012 and that he even knows about the big secret that the government is hiding, and he has the map with him on the location and arks for the humanity race preservation after the world ends.
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Brushing him off as someone with insanity, Jackson ignored his warning until he sensed something amiss while driving his children home to Los Angeles.
The increasing seismic activities along the coast has led to a series of catastrophic earthquakes which left Jackson with only a race; against time to save his family.
He rushed back to warn his wife and children who disbelieved him, and Kate even thought he had gone out of his mind until they witnessed the earthquake themselves.

Jackson rushed them into his rented plane and force Kate’s then boyfriend, plastic surgeon and amateur pilot, Gordon Silberman (Thomas McCarthy) to drive the plane and lead them out of the massive earthquake in L.A.
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Jackson directed them to Yellowstone to locate Charlie Frost and obtain the full information on the government’s secret for humanity and also the map to lead them to the destination.
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Jackson escaped with the map in the nick of time while Charlie Frost embraced himself and waited for his death in Yellowstone National Park with the eruption of the volcanoes.
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Heading to China where the arks were believed to be, they had to make an emergency landing in Las Vegas as they were running out of gas and that was where they met up with Yuri, his sons and his girlfriend, Tamara (Beatrice Rosen), and his pilot, Sasha (Johann Urb) who were waiting to board the Air Force One along with Adrian, Carl and the First Daughter, Laura Wilson (Thandie Newton).
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The President refused to leave and would rather stay back to embrace the will of God along with most leaders of countries.

Sasha flew the plane and landed with a crash in China; where he sacrificed himself for the rest to escape. They were held back by the People Liberation Army of China, who only allowed Yuri and his two sons to pass as they were holding the tickets; which cost about one billion euros per person. Yuri refused to help the rest, including his girlfriend Tamara whom he revealed her affair with dead pilot Sasha and Jackson and his family, along with Tamara were left to fend for themselves.
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The whole world continues to collapse in havoc and massive chaos were caused everywhere, volcanoes erupting everywhere and tsunamis washing away all the major architectures of the world; the Statue of Christ, the Redeemer, Eiffel Tower, and all the holy pilgrims praying together in vigil at the Rome’s St Peter’s Basilica, witnessing the crack separating the touch of God’s finger to man in the earthquake.
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Jackson flagged down a truck with Nima, a Buddhist monk from Tibet who was enlightened by his Dalai Lama to leave, and his parents and brother, Tenzin in the truck and they decided to lend a helping hand to the troop.

When they arrived, most of the world’s influential and richest people were boarding the arks which cost one billion euros per ticket (no wonder only the VERY affluent folks can afford it) and during the boarding, there was a mega tsunami approaching, causing massive chaos and panic attacks as the people rushed to board the arks.
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In this ensuing struggle, Yuri and Tamara both died and also Gordon while in the meantime, the arks were unable to deploy due to a mishap in the main engine/driver of the ark and Jackson managed to solve the problem at the very nick of time.
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The arks departed when the tsunami hits the Himalayas and it was a relief for everyone on board.
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The sun rises, and soon they arrived in the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

Was it a happy ending?
Well, perhaps, for most of the main characters, as usual, but I only have one word to describe this movie: CATASTROPHIC

It was terribly depressing (at least it was for me) and the anxiety rises along the movie.
I could not help feeling devastated and upset when the first earthquake hits the screen, at Los Angeles.

I could not describe that sinking feeling as I watched all those massive destruction happen before my eyes and wiping out all the people and everything possible on the face of Earth or at that point of time, that place. I know it was just the effects and that this was a sci-fi movie, but still, the visuals clearly affected my emotions to the very core.

Born in a country free of disasters that you could practically call it a paradise makes me ignorant of the consequences and aftermath that follows when disaster struck.
Watching suffering and the agony of the human beings depicted in educational films and also in this movie makes me feel so unhappy beyond words.

Of course, despite that, I have to comment on some of the coy effects which could have been observed to make the movie more realistic and close to the world.
1. How can all the earthquakes happen like it was cleverly directed or designed that it just folds after the main characters? I don’t think in actual earthquakes, there are actually such uniformed and rhythmatic sequences in the occurrence.
2. Again, the tsunami and collapse of buildings seem to happen in a way that it was making way for the plane to escape. I mean, c’mon, I do know that it’s a movie but it does not have to be so deliberate that it is obvious! Of course, flipping to the other side of the coin, if we kill the main characters, then there is no movie, right?

The movie clearly underlines values of true humanity and passion and takes a deep look at what lies beneath our conscience.
As depicted in the movie, despite the shared knowledge that there is already a major disaster predicted (something as major as the end of the world is more than what we should raise alarm), I could see the simple nature of human being whereby selfishness is still dominant in most selves.

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Take for example, the Chief of Staff, Carl, who was clearly so arrogant and just plain full of himself in everything he thinks. He thinks that only the affluent or the ones whom he referred to as the better breed should be the chosen ones to continue humanity. PAH, who is he to judge who the better breed are? The rich are only rich in materials; such as money, and it is not substantial to their true character.
Yet he thinks he is doing the right and most admirable thing of all *rolls eyes*

The closing of the door of the ark and the speech made by Adrian was perhaps the most memorable thing and no doubt the main highlight in the movie. Of course, there was another small part which most would have missed out, which is the lending of hand by Nima and Tenzin’s mother to save the Curtis’s family. It was such a small part, but yet, I feel that was also another true depiction of compassion.
In times of chaos, one would always care for their own family, but this woman, took the risk of their own safety to save another family. It was a very touching and self-less act which is much admired and it was truly emotion and thought provoking.
Will I be able to do the same when I am even unsure of my own future/safety?
Maybe, since I am already unsure, and leave it to God, since humanity will be wiped out and if I just abandon another, what is humanity anymore?
That was exactly the content of Adrian’s speech, and it was just remarkably said (or written in the script!)

All the drawbacks sidelined and ignored, this is actually a good movie to watch and it really touches you deep down to that inner self and got you thinking, “Are we all prepared for the End of the World?”

It definitely did make me feel grateful for each day I have lived and also thank God for his blessing. We will definitely feel more appreciative of what we have and live by the moment, so that we will not have much regret, whether or not 2012 is a truth or myth.

Of course, finally, I guess I should be thankful for the country that I am living in, shouldn’t I?

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